Grantham had a storm? What storm?

Debbie Grinnell, having problems with the roof of her house. 543C
Debbie Grinnell, having problems with the roof of her house. 543C

A WOMAN is angry after being told by her insurance company that there was not enough of a storm in Grantham on June 28 to cause damage to her roof.

Deborah Grinnell’s roof has been leaking since the storm, which was described as ‘the worst weather to hit Grantham in decades’ after thunder, rain and hail battered the town on the same day the Olympic Torch came through.

But when she rang her insurance company, RSA, a week later when heavy rain again struck Grantham and water flooded into her house, she was told that there had not been a storm - even though Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue described Grantham as one of the ‘worst affected’ towns when 40mm of rainfall was recorded in an hour.

Mrs Grinnell, who lives in Sandringham Drive, said: “Water was trickling down the wall of the bathroom so I called the insurance people immediately. She said we hadn’t had over 16mm of rain on that day so I couldn’t claim for water damage.

“I was furious, there was a lot of rain that day!”

When Mrs Grinnell told the insurance worker that she believed the damage was done by hail stones she was amazed by the response.

She said: “I was told we just had heavy rain on June 28, but we had thunder, lightning and hail stones, I think that’s what did the damage. I’m angry, especially with them saying there was no storm on the torch day.

“I was in the bathroom when the hail stones came down, they were huge, like golf balls. I thought the window was going to break.”

Mrs Grinnell called out engineers to check the gas pipes in the house and they told her that if the damage is not fixed the roof was likely to get weaker and collapse.

But she added: “The insurance company have told me if my roof falls in now I’m not covered because I’ve told them I have had a problem. I’m worried about it. In the night I worry if it is raining. I need to get it fixed as soon as possible, I’m praying for sunshine.”

RSA have told Mrs Grinnell to collect evidence of the bad weather so she is sending them a copy of the Journal. But she also needs more evidence.

She said: “They’ve asked me to get up on the roof and get a photo of the damage but I can’t do that. Even the guy who came to give me a quote said he needed another guy with him on the roof for safety.”

One of Mrs Grinnell’s neighbours suffered damage to her conservatory in the storm after hailstones smashed through the glass, which was fixed by the insurance company immediately.

She said: “I’m across the road and they say I haven’t got a claim.”

A spokesman for the insurance company said that they have reviewed their weather records and appreciate there were ‘adverse weather conditions’ on June 28.

She said: “Given the timing of the storm and the discovery of damage by Mrs Grinnell, just over a week later, it is possible that the ingress of water occurred as a direct result of rain/hailstorm on the 28th. Therefore, we can provide cover for the internal damage.

“With regards to external damage, at this stage, Mrs Grinnell has been unable to demonstrate that the damage to the flashing on her roof was caused by a storm. We would not normally anticipate rainfall alone to cause lifting of flashing and can see no evidence of sufficient wind conditions that would cause such damage. However, we’re currently awaiting for Mrs Grinnell to provide us with a report from her contractor including any photos of the damage and the builder’s comments as to the cause and nature of the damage to the flashing. On receipt of this we will review our position.”